J7.2 The Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) project: History, Results and Future (Invited Presentation)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014: 8:52 AM
Essex North (Westin Copley Place)
Jacqueline E. Russell, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom; and H. E. Brindley

In 1994, in response to an ESA announcement of opportunity a team of scientists from across Europe proposed to make the first radiation budget measurements from a geostationary platform. This scientific vision become new science data in 2002 when the first GERB instrument was launched on MSG-1 (METEOSAT-8), providing unique broad band observations of the high time resolution variations in the emitted thermal and reflected solar energy for the METEOSAT region. Anthony Slingo was a fundamental part of this effort from the first proposal to ESA to the careful definition of the science requirements of the instrument. He was also one of the first researchers to exploit the data scientifically.

This talk will revisit some of the history of the GERB project, recap the instrument design and science specification and present some highlights from over a decade of observations that have been obtained so far from the series of GERB instruments. We will discuss some of the science results that have been obtained with the data and show the unique insight that these observations can provide on rapidly changes components of the climate system, such as cloud and aerosol, as well as the detail they can resolve on the diurnal cycle and the impact this understanding can have on longer term averages. The talk will also consider the challenges presented by the observations and discuss the ongoing work to provide a seamless stable record for climate research. Finally, looking forward to the next decade, from the launch of the fourth and last in the GERB series of instruments next year, to the possibly of obtaining observations over the Indian ocean when the planned relocation of METEOSAT-8 takes place, the talk will also address the future observations, the new data products that are expected to be made available to the scientific community and the long term legacy of the project.

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